Friday, March 12, 2010

Prayer Wall

I am bumping this post up to request added prayers for Matthew L.  He is not doing well right now and his momma says he needs a miracle.  Please pray for that miracle.  Please pray for comfort and peace for Matthew and strength for his mom and dad.  Click the link in his prayer request to be re-directed to  his Caring Bridge site.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" - Phillipians 4:6

We thought it would be great to really witness the awesome power of prayer. We have posted a few prayer requests since publishing the blog and are going to attempt to gather all of the requests in to one post, that we will continue to update.

Please be a prayer warrior for these fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and if you have prayer requests or thanksgiving to God, please feel free to either comment or e-mail Heidi or Mary. If you would like for your request to remain private please let us know.

We encourage you to pray bold prayers! In the book of Nehemiah we learn that it is important to never act without praying and never pray without acting!

We would also ask that as a prayer warrior you provide updates on the Lord's answers and response to your prayer so that we can be an encourager to one another.

Matthew L. (8-years-old)
Matthew L is the son of one of my Mary Kay "sister's". He was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of two and won the battle after cemotherapy and radiation. At his five-year checkup he was rediagnosed with this awful disease and is currently in the Intensive Care Unit receiving treatment. At this point (10/19/09) it appears as though he will need a bone marrow transplant. Matthew's family is very faithful and will find their strength in God, but pray for their continued perseverance and comfort. I will keep you all updated on his progress.

10/22/09 - Matthew's mom keeps everyone updated here. Please check out his story. Katie and Frank, Matthew's mom and dad, are PRAYER WARRIORS! They list specific prayers. I'll let you read their story, however please be praying that someone in Matthew's family is a bone marrow transplant match. Matthew is going to undergo heavy chemo in a very short period of time and the bone marrow transplant will be most successful if complete immediately thereafter.

Ashley - http://proverbs1v32.blogspot.com/2009/10/ashley.html

Deb Noll and her son John - Battle Against Ovarian Cancer

This Blog
Our prayer is that this blog would serve as an encouragement to Heidi, Mary, and other readers. That it would challenge them to continue to grow in their faith instead of becoming complacent. We pray that it would be God-centered and contain only truth.

Compassion - The Organization, The Children, The Sponsors
Compassion is an organization that both Heidi's family and my family are involved with. Heidi has a great post about this on her blog. This organization makes it possible for the average person to minister to children and families abroad through sponsorship. We have now received two letters from our sponsored child, Thallison. It is so excited to hear from him! In his letter today he shared that he lives with his grandmother because his mom "didn't want such responsibility" and that he "is scared of his mother". Please pray for him. Please pray for the other children sponsored in the program, those that are not yet sponsored and those that work for Compassion.

Our Love Walk

Monday, February 22, 2010


May I start by saying "thank you" to you? You, meaning if you are actually reading this post. It has been a while since my last post, but I promise you that I have not been complacent in my faith. Unfortunately, I think I have been complacent in challenging my brothers and sister in Christ to grow in theirs.

For the last six weeks, or so, my Women's Connections group has been reading Fearless by Max Lucado (think we like us a little Max?).  This book is just down right incredible.  This weeks chapter was "Woe, Be Gone: The Fear of Running Out". 

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life - whether you have enough. (Matt. 6:25 NLT)

Max writes, "Whether you have enough. Shortfalls and depletions inhabit our trails. Not enough time, luck, credit, wisdom, intelligence. We are running out of everything, it seems, and so we worry.  But worry doesn't work."  When we become afraid, we become angry.  Is fear not the opposite of faith?  Max says in this chapter that when we fear what lies ahead we are removing God from our future.  The same God that has blessed and provided and given us our daily bread.  The Lord provides for today.  He does not provide for us everything we need on an annual basis and hope we make it. Nope, He provides just what we need right when we need it because He already knows!

When the disciples worried that they did not have enough bread and fish to feed the masses, the counted five loaves of bread and two fish.  They got to seven.  They forgot to count to eight, Jesus Christ.  We do the same.  Max provides us with a list of eight worry stoppers.

1. Pray, first. 
2. Easy, now. Slow down.  Assess the problem.  Take it to Jesus and state it clearly.  "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" - Psalm 37:7
3. Act on it. Become a worry slapper.  Be a doer, not a stewer.
4. Compile a worry list.  Yes, you heard him right.  Compile your list of worries.  Pray specifically.  See how many of them turn in to reality.
5. Evaluate your worry categories.
6. Focus on today.
7. Unleash a worry army.  "Share your feelings with a few loves ones.  Ask them to pray with and for you.  They're more willing to help than you might imagine.  Less worry on your part means more happiness on theirs.
8. Let God be enough.

"Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you'll worry over every dollar. Seek first the kingdom of health, and you'll sweat every blemish and bump. Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you'll relive every conflict. Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you'll jump at every crack of the twig. But seek first his kingdom, and you will find it.  On that, we can depend and never worry."

Eight steps. P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L.

Monday, January 18, 2010


My dear friend Christa wrote this and I wanted to share it with you. Happy Monday.

Trust. Such a small word to define such a huge thing. Synonyms for the word trust include: faith, belief, hope, conviction, confidence, expectation, dependence, and reliance.

Do you really trust God? Are you convicted in your belief that God will provide the benefits that he has promised? Do you expect, and depend on his promises?

As it is written in the Scriptures: “No one has ever seen this, and no one has ever heard about it. No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. Are you experiencing those benefits and depending on them, or do the Bible scriptures and stories you read seem irrelevant in the face of your reality?

I recently started a Bible study by Beth Moore, called “Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life”. These are some of the hard questions I am asking myself as I read this week’s lessons.

God wants to do in our life what our eyes have never seen, our ears have never heard, and what our mind has never conceived. But am I letting Him? Do I believe that this will happen, do I expect it to take place, am I convicted that this is possible?

Beth Moore explains, “areas of captivity can keep us from living out the reality of 1 Corinthians 2:9. A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God has planned for us.”

God desires for us to know Him, to believe in Him, to trust Him. He waits for us to have faith in Him, to be confident that He will deliver benefits in our lives that will be what no one has seen, hear d, or imagined.

The level of faith we have in God and His plan for us is an issue in most of our lives. Many things in our lives affect the trust that we have in God. What is affecting the trust you have in God? Is it a painful loss? Has someone you loved betrayed or hurt you? Are you heartbroken or filled with despair over circumstances in your life? If you feel blocked in your ability to completely trust God, and His plan for your life, something is holding you back. What in your life is holding you captive? What is hindering the abundant and Spirit-filled life God has planned for you? Whatever it is, seek out God and pray for healing. He is not satisfied with anything less for your life than the benefits He has planned for you, benefits that you cannot even imagine.

“God will do for those who love him what no eyes have seen, no ears have heard, and no mind has conceived.”

Faith. Belief. Hope. Conviction. Confidence. Expectation. Dependence. Reliance. Trust.

Bible references: Isaiah 64:4, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Isaiah 43:10

Monday, January 11, 2010

Reduce Me To Love - Review

Long time... No post... My reason, I have started a personal blog... While I am having so much fun with my posts there, I don't want this conversation to cease. So, here is my latest post that I think will certainly challenge complacency. It is more or less a book review, but also a bit of my journaling related to my "love walk".

I'm cheating a little bit.  I started reading "The Love Revolution" by Joyce Meyer last week, and still have half of it left.  It is fantastic.  I have already been trying to figure out how I am going to post a review that won't be way too long to read.  Also, I need to really work on my time management (one of my New Year's Goals) and make the time to get my reading in so that I can keep up with my book per week goal.

This week I am going to post a review on the "predecessor" to "The Love Revolution", "Reduce Me To Love".  I came across this book this past fall.  I was beginning to study the fruit of the spirit in my quiet time, and I kept coming back to "Love".

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is now law. - Galatians 5:21-23

Truly, I felt that the Lord kept calling me back to love, because without love it was difficult to start working on joy, and without joy to start working on peace, etc.  Notice that these nine qualities are the "fruit" not "fruits" of the spirit.  And, they are from the spirit.  They are not from us, or anything earthly, they are drawn directly from the spirit who desires to live in us.  So, naturally, love is hard and the devil attacks love at every moment.  I wanted to become saturated in love, and to truly understand the love from the Spirit.  To love as our Father loved us that he would sacrifice His son so that we might live eternally in heaven.

Admittedly, as I was studying this and praying about this, I came across a "tweet" from Heidi Montag (if you know me you know that "The Hills" television show is was my guilty pleasure).  Heidi had tweeted about how amazing this book called "Reduce Me To Love" by Joyce Meyer is.  So, I thought, what the heck.  Ordered it from half.com and started my journey into a "love walk".

My Women's Connections group just got done reading this book, all together, and talking about it (more of a book club than Bible study, if you will).  So, I thought this would be a great time to pull together my thoughts.

First, and most important, if you can find a copy of this book, read it.  And then read it again.  Then give your copy to someone else to read.  And then buy another copy for yourself and read it again.  It is so wonderful and moving.  That is my review.  It is so hard for me to pick out just one or two things to hit on with this book, because I need to read it again.

The first time I read through this book, I did some private journaling and I will share just a small excerpt and hope that you are inspired to read this book:

In the Bible, God tells us that love is even more important than faith! In I Corinthians 13:2 Paul says "if we have enough faith to move mountains and have not love, we are nothing". 

I know my faith is strong right now, but I know my love walk is at the "still learning to crawl" stage. It is our personal love walk that gives us confidence before God and enables us to receive from Him what we ask for in prayer. 

I John 3:18-23 says "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him." 

Meyer points out: Be Christlike. Be His disciple. If I love God, I need to act like it.

[We] have the ability to minister to others. She says, We live in a world of people looking for something real, something tangible. They are looking for love and God is love. I can tangibly show them that. I'm reminded here of a quote "Your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks." 

[As a parent I immediately think of] my son. When he was baptized Kendall said "there will come a time in Matthew's life that it will not be what you say but how you act" that raises Matthew to be a God-fearing Christian. [I do not care "what" Matthew becomes, but "who", it is my highest desire that He would know the Lord and love without inhibition].

Monday, January 4, 2010

Beyond Myself

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galations 5:22-23

As I was mentally preparing for my first night of "Living Beyond Yourself" study today, I quickly blogged on the Complacency Challenge how my January calendar was a little overwhelming. I half jokingly asked prayer warriors to pray for that schedule but was quietly begging God to have someone take my request serious.
I'm now home from my first night of "Living Beyond Yourself," another Beth Moore study. As I hurried to get there (I was a few minutes late), I wondered if it would be worthwhile. I prayed that it would be relevant. I asked God to really use it in my life and to change me.
Uh huh.
I'm not even sure where to start when I tell you how excited I am about this study. Let me attempt to break it down.

Reason #1:
When the video started, Beth quickly went into saying how we were all there for a purpose. As I was thinking, "This better be good. It better be worth the one night a week commitment on my calender," Beth caught my attention by saying "This is on His calendar."
He ordained this meeting. He is happening. Right now. Right here. Right in the midst of that 'every day, except for two, is booked solid' calendar.

Reason #2:
Remember I questioned if it would be relevant? She answered, or rather asked, that too. Bullet point one on living:
1. The in-depth study of this biblical concept offers an affirmative answer to an important question: Is this relevant? It is! Could he have hit me upside the head anymore than that?

Yes. Yes He can....
Which brings me to
Reason #3:
If you've gotten an email from me lately, you've maybe noticed the signature automatically attached at the end.
"The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is alive in me." (ref. Ephesians 1:19-20)
I've looked at this the last week and contemplated changing it. I've wondered i
f it even resonates in the slightest with anyone that is on the receiving end of those emails. Or, even, if others read that and think I'm self-absorbed or boasting (I'm not) that there is power in me.
But there is power in me. His.

And if you know Him, it's in you too.

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." Acts 1:8
This is not a personal power. It's not boasting or saying we are powerful. It is bigger than that. It is better than that. It is His power. He is in us. He fills us with the power for things we would otherwise face powerless. We can do all and accomplish all through Him and with His power.

Through the infiltrating power of the Holy Spirit, I can...
DO things I COULDN'T
FEEL things I DIDN'T

God is God. He lives in me. and if you know Him, He lives in you.

Reason #4 is a prayer request that I'll keep in between me and God for right now. But guess what, He answered it. He answered it better than I could have imagined.

Isn't He great?

Lord, Thank You. Thank You for for ordaining this meeting with You. Thank You for always being here. No matter how full my calendar is, You are always here. Lord, I pray for myself and for each one of my dear friends that as we look at the calendar in 2010 that we make time for You. Lord, please fill our lives with more of You. Please help us to see You in every single appointment on our calendars. Thank You for living in us. Thank You for Your almighty power that those of us that know you have. Lord I also pray tonight for those that don't know You and feel so powerless right now. I pray that You will use me to reach them and to share You with them so that they may be filled to the full with Your power. Thank You, thank You, thank You Lord. Amen.

Blessings! -Heidi

Goodbye Esther, Hello Fruit of the Spirit

Sooo..... turns out I've been really bad about blogging lately!
I still have not wrapped up my thoughts on Esther (in blog format, anyhow) and it's already time for the next study to start. Tonight "Living Beyond Yourself" kicks off at the Ridge. We'll be studying the Fruit of the spirit. I will be trying to keep on top of my blogging about it each week... however as I look at the January calendar it is a little overwhelming. So no promises. (Our January schedule is something for you prayer warriors lists!) :)
I'll be discussing Fruit of the Spirit over the next 12 weeks. In the meantime, I will have gotten the new Beth Moore book (So Long, Insecurity comes out in Feb.) and will be following along with her blog until the simulcast in April. If you are interested in attending the simulcast, please let me know! I'd love to have you come with me (and if you don't live in the area, there are a lot of other host churches as well, I'll link up to that soon).
So Happy New Year! Happy new studies to all of you!
I'd love to hear how you are challenging complacency in 2010!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Five Stones

Snow day! Not that this changes my routine much, but it makes me feel better about curling up with a blanket, a book, the Bible and my laptop in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon. Thank you God, for a beautiful snow day, the roof over my head, heat and the safety of my family. While we pray those thanksgivings, also pray for those who are without shelter, without electricity and without heat during this snow storm. Pray for the postman that is delivering Christmas cards (and bills) as I type.

Okay, on to the "Facing Your Giants" wrap up. We actually finished this up in our Women's Connections Group a couple of weeks ago, and I have been notably absent from blogging for what seems a month now. But I am committed to keeping the conversation going (even if it's just Heidi and me).

Fast-forwarding a few chapters (there was so much good material in between, so I highly recommend reading a copy yourself) to the final chapter of "FYG" and Max Lucado introduces us to the five stones that David selected as he prepared to take down Goliath.

Remember your Goliath? Was it a failing marriage? Questionable employment? An attitude of arrogance? Depression? Debt? Cancer?

David selected five stones to prepare to battle his giant, and we can select the same five stones as we prepare for ours. We can use our hand to remember the five stones. The thumb shall remind you of...

1. The Stone of the Past

David remembered that God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Certainly He would do the same with the giants. We can learn from this. Write today's worries in sand. Chisel yesterday's victories in stone. Gaze at God's victories. A good memory makes heroes. A bad memory makes wimps.

I came across Heidi's post about her blessings jar. We are going to do that here, and I challenge you to do the same, so that in the midst of your deja vu, you are able to remember His victories.

2. The Stone of Prayer

Lucado says "Note the valley between your thumb and finger. To pass from one to the next you must go through it. Let it remind you of David's descent. Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don't face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer. Paul, the apostle, wrote, 'Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long' (Eph. 6:18 MSG)."

Max continues, "When David soaked his mind in God, he stood. When he didn't, he flopped. You think he spent much time in prayer the evening he seduced Bathseba? Did he write a psalm the day he murdered Uriah? Doubtful."

"[God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in [God], whose thoughts are fixed on [God]" (Isa. 26:3 NLT).

Pick up your stone of prayer.

3. The Stone of Priority

Your tallest finger, as Max writes, should remind you that your highest priority is God's reputation. As a Christian we should jealously guard it, letting no one defame the Lord. "David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off!"

"What if you saw your giant in the same manner? Rather than begrudge him, welcome him. Your cancer is God's chance to flex his healing muscles. Your sin is God's opportunity to showcase grace. Your struggling marriage can billboard God's power. See your struggle as God's canvas. On it he will paint his multicolored supremacy. Announce God's name and then reach for..."

4. The Stone of Passion

Run toward your giant, emphasizing the Lord. "What good has problem-pondering gotten you? You've stared so long you can number the hairs on Goliath's chest. Has it helped?

No. Listing hurts won't heal them. Itemizing problems won't solve them. Categorizing rejections won't remove them."

5. The Stone of Persistence

David had five stones, because he knew that Goliath had "four behemoth relatives". David was not going to give up. He didn't go in to battle with one stone, he went in with five. Five decisions. Past. Prayer. Priority. Passion. Persistence.